A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for John Greenleaf THAYER
Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Name: John G. Thayer; Unit: Company "D", 2nd Battalion, US Sharpshooters; State Filed: Maine; Widow: Mary Thayer; Roll Number: T288_468.
Sniping, or sharpshooting, was a recognized psychological weapon at the outset of the Civil War. Champion marksman Hiram C. Berdan of New York, authorized to raise a regiment of sharpshooters for Federal service, began recruiting competitions in the summer of 1861. Qualified recruits had to place 10 shots in a 10-inch circle at 200 yards, firing any rifle they chose from any position they preferred. In this way Berdan organized companies in Albany, New York, New York City and in the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Mustered in as the 1st Regiment Sharpshooter/U.S. Volunteers, November 25, 1861, the unit saw service in every Eastern campaign through autumn 1864. The 2nd Regiment Sharpshooters/U.S. Volunteers was raised similarly, its companies mustered in individually in autumn 1861, and its men were drawn from New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Vermont. It too served in the Eastern Theater and in December, 1864 its veteran volunteers were briefly consolidated with reenlisted veterans of the 1st Regiment.
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